Days after AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria stated that the third wave is 'inevitable' and it could hit the country in the next six to eight weeks, NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul on Tuesday said that thwarting the third wave of COVID-19 rests in the hands of the people.

Dr Paul said that the third wave of the pandemic can be stopped if COVID-appropriate behaviour is followed, and a majority of the people get vaccinated.

"Why will there be a third wave if we follow COVID-appropriate behaviour and get ourselves vaccinated? There are many countries where even the second wave has not arrived. If we follow COVID-appropriate behaviour, this period will pass," a Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) statement mentioned quoting Paul.

Commenting on the safety of vaccination, Dr Paul said that it is a big mistake to think that vaccines are unsafe. "All vaccines of the world have been approved under Emergency Use Authorisation, just like our vaccines. People from various sections of society have taken these."

The NITI Aayog Member underscored the importance of fast vaccination in order to enable India to open its economy and resume normal work and emphasised on fast vaccination as a key to go back to normal.

Meanwhile, National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation in India (NTAGI), Chairperson, Dr N K Arora said, "We will have around 20-22 crore doses next month." He also assured that the health infrastructure is well spread out to ensure that the vaccination drive reaches every corner of the country including hilly, tribal and very sparsely populated areas.

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